Bookish Bits: Dueling series
Yawn…Oh, pardon me. Just waking up from my long winter’s nap, apparently. Oh, my, where does the time go.
Welcome to Bookish Bits, and welcome back to the blog, which has been dormant for quite some time. Once The Last Motley launch blew itself out and Lewolkien finally came and went I was in need of some blessed recovery.
And that I have had.
But it’s not been all play and no work. So let me in on what I’ve been up to and where I’m going, or not going as the case may be. So pull up a chair and listen to a tale of woe, my friend. Woe, I say! For never was there a more grievous tale to be told than that of the tale of the Dueling Series.
I’m almost out of lines
I have been primarily working on two things these past few weeks. Re-recording the talks I gave at Lewolkien into a more listenable format (the recordings I made did not come out the way I’d hoped). And outlining for the Super Secret Series.
On the first count I hope to have something in April, but don’t hold your breath. Still I care passionately about these talks and I vow to get them up at some point.
On the second count, I’m doing what I can only describe as the most detailed outlining I’ve ever done. This outline is so detailed, I’m almost out of lines…
I bought this program called Aeon’s Timeline after reading about it at IndieCon last year. And boy is it snazzy. Perhaps I’ll write more about it at a later time. But I’ve always had maps, but times were a bit fuzzy. And so this one lets you use no standard calendars and keep everything in sync.
Which I thought I would need for this series more than ever because…
This series is going to be NINE BOOKS!
I think I can, I think I can…
Well, that’s the plan anyway. I currently have books 1, 2, and 9 outlined. Why out of order? It’s because the last book takes place long before the events of the first 8 books.
If you’ll notice the little progress bar off to the side, you’ll see that I’m currently 40% done (the extra 10% is for the map, which has taken me hours and hours to finish as well). So keep your eye on that if you’re curious as to how I’m progressing.
But knowing this is such a long series has been cause for a little doubt.
You see, I had originally planned on writing three books in The Null Stone Trilogy (surprise, surprise). Book one, The Last Motley, is of course finished, and I have rough outlines for the final two books, but I deliberately wrote book 1 to have a feeling of closure.
Partly this was done because book 2 happens several hundred years in the past, with different characters and will have an entirely different feel from the first book.
Two roads diverged in the woods
The other reason I wrote book 1 in the way I did was to give myself an out. If The Last Motley did not set the world on fire I had this other series to dive into. This decision was based on my experience with The Chronotrace Sequence. I sold quite a few copies of book 1, Into the Vast, but it never quite took off the way I’d hoped. And when books 2 and 3 came along they barely made a ripple.
So now, as much as it pains me to leave The Null Stone Trilogy unfinished (and several of you have expressed your anxiousness for the next installment) despite the initial success of the Motley’s launch, it does not look like the book is on track to reach the kind of critical mass which I think is necessary to succeed in the mass market.
The current plan is to write at least book 1 of The Super Secret Series and see what happens. If The Last Motley miraculously takes off between now and then, I can always pop back in and write book 2 of The Null Stone. If not, well then we’ll see if the other series can step up to the plate and hit a home run.
I’ve led a sheltered life
But the final letter in the writing on the wall is that my kids really want me to write the Super Secret Series. And if I don’t write it now, well, let’s just say that they won’t be kids forever.
Or, to misquote Nagan (since he misquotes everyone else)
“I’ve led a sheltered life. A sheltered life that is calling to me rather strongly at the moment. And it would be bad manners to keep it waiting. ‘When the dinner bell rings’ my mum always said, ‘you’d best act like you’re hungry.’”
And so that is my tale of woe. Disbelieve it if you must. Weep and wail if you choose. But tis certain, every last word of it. Or my name’s not Fibber McGee. Oh, no, wait, it really is true. Just got a little carried away there. Drama and writerly embellishment. You understand.
So, what say you? Am I on a fools errand? Are there millions of people I don’t know about just waiting for the next Null Stone book? If you feel so inclined as to start a grass roots marketing campaign and telling all your friends, I’ll gladly reconsider, but for now, this seems like the path to take.